Nina Amaro Derbe
Cinzia's aunt’s nickname was ‘Nina,’ and she was the one who composed the amaro recipe with over 30 different medicinal (and mountain) herbs. The bitter cut comes from Gentiana lutea, known in English as bitter root. The herb grows in grassy alpine and sub-Alpine pastures, usually on calcareous soil. You may recognize its bitterness, as it’s the main ingredient in Angostura bitters. Mint, orange rind, sage, fennel fronds, and more give charming aromatic nuance.
Two women in the northernmost reach of the Conegliano and Valdobiaddene hills with the Dolomites in their backyard are on a mission to make pure, elegant, natural, mineral Prosecco — and now amaro too. Alcohol made from cane sugar is poured into a metal container; then water; then the infusion of the herbs and roots. A small amount of caramelized sugar is added at the end. 30% alcohol. Some amaro is scathing bitter, some nose-opening Eucaliptic, alas others are sugary-concocted messes. This one, let’s just say, hits the spot: sweet herbs balanced by the bitter root. Don’t serve too warm. If you don’t have the bottle in the fridge, an ice cube ain’t a crime here.
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A wine list from Flask published in the early 1970s
Driving down Ventura Blvd in Studio City in the 1960’s has something in common with today, Flask Fine Wine & Whisky- Flask first opened its doors to the public in 1962. Decades later and it still remains a respected fixture in the Los Angeles community.
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